National Assembly Speaker of Pakistan along with his son, daughter test positive for coronavirus

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 1 (ANI): National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is the latest politician and third PTI leader on Thursday to test positive for the virus that has infected 16,353 people across Pakistan, Dawn reported.

The speaker of the National Assembly (NA), Asad Qaiser, as well as his son and daughter, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

"My coronavirus test has returned positive. I have quarantined myself in my house," Qaiser announced in a tweet.

The number of active cases rose to 11740, recoveries stood at 4105, critical cases at 153 and deaths at 361.

His announcement comes three days after Sindh Governor Imran Ismail tested positive for Covid-19.

As per province-wise break-up, Punjab registered 6220 number of cases, the maximum till today evening, followed by 6053 cases in Sindh, 2313 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 978 cases Balochistan, 339 cases in Gilgit Baltistan, 313 in Islamabad and 66 in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

According media reports, more than 150 doctors and health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and five have died in Pakistan.

On Monday, more than 30 doctors are on hunger strike in northeastern Punjab province for two weeks, protesting lack of Personnel Protective Equipment (PPEs), Anadolu Agency stated.

The Young Doctor's Association in Quetta, Balochistan said at least 67 doctors were arrested for protesting against the lack of the protective equipments earlier this month.

The doctors and paramedical staff have repeatedly called for stringent lockdown measures in view of the surging cases. But ignoring their concern, the Pakistani government has ordered to hold that congregational prayers, including Taraweeh [evening] and Friday prayers, in mosques across Pakistan during the holy month of Ramadan.

It shows that the political leaders of Pakistan have once again loosened the leash before the country's fundamental clerics, as the announcement came shortly after Pakistan President Arif Alvi held a video conference with religious heads to discuss the issue of mosque gatherings in the holy month, amid rising cases of the coronavirus disease in Pakistan.

The government has been striving to discourage religious leaders from holding prayer gatherings in mosques amid the pandemic, but around the country, including in the capital, people gathered for Friday prayers with senior clerics openly defying government orders.

"Ramadan is a month of forgiveness and salvation," Alvi said, while adding that he was hopeful all preventive measures would curb the spread of COVID-19 during the holy month. (ANI)